This mistake has to do with “clock watchers.” Who ever said that the world had to dance to the beat of your personal drum? Who said the magic hours to make a living today are between the hours of nine and five? Not me.
In fact, other than business travel, 9-5 is probably the worst hours one could keep in today’s 24/7 world (I hate that term, but that is what it’s called).
I remember having a consulting job a few years back for a travel agency and I arrived at the brick and mortar store at 8:51 am. I was pleasantly greeted by one of the staff and offered a cup of coffee. That is when the phone rang. And rang. And rang.
Between sips of hot “joe” my eyes wandered back and forth from the agent to the ringing phone. Finally after the fifth ring I could not help myself. “That may be a good client or perhaps your next client. Aren’t you going to answer the phone?” The response almost made me choke on Folgers’s Best. We don’t open until 9:00 am.
I realize I am treading on thin ice here, but I will be as nice as I possibly can. This behavior is nothing short of stupid. The world does not owe you a living ladies and gentlemen. Your future eating habits and those of your staff are tightly related to your business acumen and your understanding that you are not the only game in town.
Yes, you will have to decide your own hours. Yes, you have a personal life. Yes, regardless of your answers to the last two reminders the customer will continue to carry the wallet.
My message to you: Be there when your client wants to talk to you, or be prepared to suffer the consequences. You can figure the rest out…at your earliest convenience.
Mike Marchev freely shares his experiences, strategies and observations with travel professionals in an effort to keep them on top of their game. For a complimentary copy of his 12-Word Marketing Plan send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.